With this form of detailed intelligence increasingly available – which is willingly provided by customers when they sign up for the Company X program – the company can now engage in meaningful dialogue with them. They can start building profitable relationships; tell them about new brands which have landed; about special offers they believe will appeal. For example, if the retailer knows that one of its regular shoppers has school-age children, then offers of teenage swimwear as summer approaches makes sense. Conversely, telling the retirement age demographic about deals on skiing equipment is probably a waste of marketing expense.
Company X’s use of customer data extends to finding out its customers’ attitudes at the brand level, their likes and dislikes. At the macro level, Company X knows how customers feel about their shopping experience and how it compares with their experiences when shopping from the competitors. Just three years after the launch of Company X loyalty program its ambitious revenue goals have been fully realized. Compared with industry standards, an impressively high percentage of total sales are attributed to the program, and the company estimates that its investment in the program has been recovered some three-fold.
Culture of organisation pre- and post- change Wood et al (2004) state that “… through common shared behaviours, values and assumptions, organizational members will clearly understand the organization’s mission, strategies and goals in relation to external environments” (p456). Company X had a “good old days” form of culture before change. The management was static and hardly changed based on the premise that staff will be less confused of who their leaders are. The stores were allowed to operate autonomous in order to cater for their customers. The overall outlook of the stores was simple and less attractive for customers.
There were the same employees waiting for retirement, lacking of training and skill development. The customer service was disappointing due to its lack of truthfulness and professionalism. For example, for the customer to pay for its purchase he/she had to wait until the shop assistant would finish the weekend recount with the other assistant. Furthermore, misleading advertising and staff’s lack of autonomy were part of the old culture. After change Company X embraced the concept of globalisation and the new demand of thinking globally and acting locally (Chiavenato, 2001).
However, with the series of managerial changes, which were not welcomed by staff, Company X provided managers and employees with training and seminars. This in turn provided a behavioural and attitudinal adjustment changes and helped transform their traditional work values to a re-engineered work values. .For example, the boss pays your salary, so keep him happy (traditional). Customers pay our salaries, so help keep them happy (re-engineered); another example is when things go wrong, pass problems to others (traditional) to accept ownership for problems; help solve them.
These have helped reduce the amount of managerial changes (Wood el at, 2004). The company promotes a culture of diversity and the new employees are from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds and cultures. Management and leadership styles Managing change is the key to change and it is suggested that, rather than change itself, it is often ineffective management of change that creates stress among those called upon to implement it (Wood et al, 2004).
Indeed, the writer proposes that if people and organizations do not learn how to effectively manage change, they will find themselves managed by the changes that are as inevitable as the passing of time. The organization’s management plays an important role in managing the ambiguities and uncertainties associated with change. Planning for the future can be proactive. If managers recognize and communicate that change is inevitable, and everyone’s flexibility in joining to plan the future as a team, will contribute to a smoother transition (Suter, 1992).
Change is a continual process, according to George and Cole (1992), and can create a number of negative feelings among personnel. In general, there is strong resistance to change. People in the Company X were afraid of the unknown, thinking that things were just fine and did not understand the need for change. Many were inherently cynical about change or doubt there are effective means to accomplish major organizational change (George and Cole, 1992). Often there are conflicting goals in Company X. For example, to increase resources to accomplish the change, yet concurrently cut costs to remain viable.
Organization-wide change often goes against the values held by the members in the organization and changes the organizational culture (Johnston, 1996; Waddell, Cummings and Worley, 2007). Leading is an art and the way managers use their position, authority and power concludes whether they are in fact leaders (George and Cole, 1992). The qualities of a leader influence directly the organization. Successful leaders are a positive role model and continuous communicators. As Deveson (1995, p19) suggests “leaders must keep learning and … to understand risk taking.
Create a risk environment – a calculated risk. Fear of failure should not be allowed to impede innovation”. Furthermore, leaders should counsel staff on performance and integrate communication tools by means of technology. Company X as the learning organization has its base in the vision of and the search for a strategy to promote individual self-development within the organization’s continual change. In today’s Company X continuous learning is vital in order to gain competitive advantage. Learning can occur on individual, team and organizational level (Starkey, Tempest and McKinlay, 2004).
Relevant work practices Company X managers used empowerment strategies to enhance their employees’ belief that they can perform adequately in a situation. This belief is known as self-efficacy and if employees do not believe they are capable of achieving particular goals, they are less likely to do so even if the organization says they ought to. Wood et al (2004) address that “empowerment strategies are designed to improve self-efficacy by providing employees with greater autonomy and by increasing knowledge and control over factors directly related to job performance” (p164).
Company X structured training and organizational learning so that employees acquired new skills. To be paid a salary is the primary reason most employees in Company X hold their jobs but it may not be the reason why most of them do superior work. An exceptional raise of salary might drive a brief spurt of energized behaviour, sales would be up and customer service may be come exceptional, but ardour diminishes after sometime.
The dark side is that diminishing them is very demoralising; on the other hand, so withholding a rise from someone who has every reason to expect one can have a very negative effect on the person’s motivation too ( Deeprose,2007). Admittedly, a promise of bonuses based on clear criteria motivates people to perform at their peak. Suggestion for improving the outcomes of the change process The change process in Company X was radical and successful in meeting all the parameters set in the action plan. However, without ongoing evaluation processes, a change initiative is doomed to remain static: it will reach a plateau and stay there.
Even if it starts out strong, it will eventually reach a point that, while perhaps acceptable, does not enable optimal performance. Without ongoing evaluation, progress may be achieved, but the original vision or purposes may not be fulfilled and the change effort may not be able to keep up with the times. It is important therefore that each aspect of “managing change” has associated with it evaluation components that look specifically at midstream and ongoing performance, and outcomes in general. CONCLUSION
Managing change has been an occurring theme in humans and organisations for as long as the history attests. It is important to remember that substantial change does not occur overnight. Implementing the key change components at a high level of quality will require significant, continuous efforts from the individual level to multiple individuals and sometimes institutions – probably over many years. In keeping with the philosophy of academy and practice between partnerships, this paper was written as a venue to explore varied aspects of change agendas and human responses to those agendas. It aims to remove or significantly reduce the negative impacts of change upon the work required to be done in order to manage change.
Chiavenato, J. (2001). Advances and challenges in Human Resources in the new millennium. Australia: John Wiley and Sons Deeprose. D. (2007). How to recognise and reward employees. New York: Thomas Nelson Publisher. Deveson, I. (1995). The diverse roles of leaders, Management, May Gaiam Inc (2008) Gaia Community Online. http://www. gaia. com/quotes/27861/all_things_change_nothing_is/by_publius_ovidius_naso_ovid? printable=1(accessed 25 April 2008)